Thursday, December 22, 2005

New Artisan: Frances Dunston

Frances Dunston has transformed the kitchen of her West Midwood home into a veritable soap-making factory. With the support of her husband, children, and a local small-business development network, she has launched LeOna Hurnice, a brand new line of mild, lightly scented glycerin and castile soaps that prove soap can have soul.

After raising five children and working full time for many years, Fran found herself nearing burn-out and decided the time had come for her to rediscover who she was and what she wanted out of life. Soap-making appealed to her, so she took a class to learn the basics and started experimenting at home. With her friends and family as willing testers and her teenage daughter her toughest critic, she developed a small line of products that are simple, mild, and long-lasting with no additives or preservatives. She made up labels and chose straightforward clear packaging so that the beauty and simplicity of the soaps stand as their own strongest selling point.

Though simple, LeOna Hurnice soaps are far from dull. The glycerin soaps come in pretty colors (purple, yellow, green, pink) and carry a very light orange patchouli fragrance. The loofah soap is a round glycerin soap with a slice of loofah suspended inside so you get some exfoliating action with your wash. The unscented castile soap is as classic as it gets: olive oil, water, and lye. And then there are the wonderful bath bombs (or, to be more pacifistic, bath fizzies) that create a wonderful geranium-rosemary scented mineral soak in your tub.

Fran and her helpful son delivered our order last weekend and already it is half sold out. But we hope to carry the fine, classic soaps of LeOna Hurnice at Greenjeans for a long time to come.

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